JamieLee Lawler, 41, Phoenix, Aironza, a former Countrywide loan officer and real estate investor, and Brett Matheson, 44, Scottsdale, Arizona, were charged in a 30-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Phoenix, Arizona, for Wire Fraud, Conspiracy, Money Laundering and Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering related to their leadership roles in a Mortgage Fraud scheme.
The indictment, which was handed down on Tuesday, June 15, 2010, alleges from January 2005 through December 2007, Lawler and Matheson conspired to commit mortgage fraud by holding seminars to recruit straw buyers that did not intend to live in the homes or be responsible for the loan payments. The defendants would obtain financing to purchase homes in the names of the straw buyers by submitting fraudulent applications that misrepresented assets, income, employment status, and other information. Loans would be in excess of the sale price and once the funds were obtained from the lender, the extra proceeds known as “cash-back,” would be directed to bank accounts in the defendants’ control.
During the period of the conspiracy and scheme, the defendants defrauded the banks of over $38 million of which $8.7 million was directed to bank accounts under their control. Lawler and Matheson used the “cash-back” for personal expenses, including luxury vehicles and homes for themselves. Each conviction for Wire Fraud or Conspiracy carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, a $1 million fine or both. Each conviction for Money Laundering or Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a fine or both.